Cool summer nights

Cool summer nights

The holidays are the perfect time to have your friends over for a slumber party, writes Karly Cox

Hurrah for the holidays, and the weeks of free time stretched out ahead of you. As well as family outings and maybe an internship or summer job, summer hopefully means spending quality time with your friends - and what better way than a slumber party?

If you want to do something other than a movie marathon, we've got ideas for girls and guys.


For the girls

The stylist

If you've cleared out your wardrobe and found a bunch of clothes you no longer wear but still love, use your sleepover as a "swishing", or clothes swap, event. Everyone brings a few items they want to get rid of. You can then try on each others' cast-offs to see if anything suits.

While you're at it, you could experiment with new hair and make-up looks. Your friends' opinions are valuable, and it's easier (and cheaper!) to do this at someone's home than a shop.


Ready, steady, cook

Everyone brings one ingredient to the host's home, and you work as one big team, or in pairs, to prepare dishes from the ingredients.

You can play safe by specifying what type of ingredient (protein, fruit, vegetables, sweet, savoury) everyone is responsible for. Or you could leave it to fate and get even more creative. It's probably a good idea to have a pizza delivery number on hand, though - just in case.


Warm fuzzies

Affirmation notes, or "warm fuzzies", are messages telling your friends what you appreciate, like or admire about them. It can be as deep or light-hearted as you'd like. It can be thanking them for always being there to listen to you, or simply that you love the skirt they're wearing.

This not only helps you to see the good in people, but it helps you appreciate the good in yourself.

Write each person's name on an envelope. Then hand out small sheets of paper so people can write a note for everyone. Write your notes and put them in the relevant envelope. Later in the night, everyone can open their envelope and feel special.


The Fox says Call Me Happy

If you've got video skills and a mad love for a particular song or singer, recreate a video (a dressing-up box helps). Work together to style it and then put it up on YouTube. Who knows, it could be next big viral video!


Time capsule notebook

If your group of girlfriends has been hanging out for years, hopefully you'll still be in touch when you're adults. Spend some time to put together a scrapbook of memories (who likes what band, who's dating whom) and photos. You can open it again in 20 years (or next summer).

For the guys

The ultimate champ

If you and your buddies are gamers, host a mini video game tournament. Whether you hold rounds throughout the evening, which end in a grand final, or set smaller challenges, like how many zombies you can kill or goals you can score in a set time, this is a great way to prove once and for all (or until next time) who the best player is.


Man Hunt

Too old for playground games? Never! Set up a game of Man Hunt; there are loads of different versions, but most involve running around in the dark, so you can allow torches and walkie-talkies, if you like.

The easiest game starts with one Manhunter, or "it", and everyone else runs away and hides. As soon as the Manhunter finds another player, that player joins as a hunter. Set a time limit to up the excitement.


Get on board

Are your friendships based on proving your superior grasp of trivia, or showing you have exemplary tactical skills? A sleepover means several uninterrupted hours for board games. If you like creating your own worlds, try The Settlers of Catan.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a da Vinci, a man of many skills, Cranium is the definitive test of greatness (you need to be able to hum in tune, draw, recall random facts and mime).

And if you've always been a bit of a businessman, try Monopoly Deal, a faster, easier version of the original (but one that can demand days of rematches; believe me, I've seen it happen).


Lip sync battle

It's cool enough for Jimmy Fallon, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Paul Rudd so challenge your buddies and find the greatest lip-syncer. Film the mime-off, watch and vote (and if you can't pick who is the most amusing, there's always YouTube audiences to help decide).


- Stock up on finger foods. Nobody should go to bed hungry.

- Popcorn is a no-brainer, but get creative with the flavours. We like chili powder and lime zest; parmesan and rosemary; cinnamon and cocoa powder; grated white chocolate and lemon zest; grated ginger and raisins ... the possibilities are endless.

- Potato wedges. Toss potato chunks in your favourite seasoning, bake until tender, then serve with dips.

- Chicken wings. Because every party needs them.

- Ice lollies. Blitz your favourite fruit and freeze in layers for stripy frozen treats, or make your favourite milkshake or smoothie and freeze.


This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Cool summer nights


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